Rolling On – The Best Handful of Tips 16 – TELL A GOOD YARN

Rolling On – The Best Handful of Tips 16 –


A good story can help get your message across, make your message more memorable, keep your audience interested and amused.  

People enjoy a little nonsense now and then. Humour depends on life experiences and these can vary greatly between countries and different social groups within a country.

To tell it well you should enjoy the story or joke yourself.  You need to act out a situation or an imaginary experience. 

The five best tips on how to become a good story teller

* Select your jokes or yarns carefully

Consider  the background and experience of the audience. Take care not to offend.

            Cultural differences must be taken into consideration. A good joke in one country may offend in another.

            Sexist and off-colour jokes could upset some people so select jokes that are suitable for the audience and relevant to the occasion.

* Collect good stories and jokes

When you hear a suitable joke or story, jot it down or make a digital note for future reference.   

* Make it your story

Rewrite it. Make it topical, use local names and places. Revise it. Edit it. Rehearse it.

            Act it out using facial expressions and gestures using a mirror.

            Put yourself into the story. Tell stories against  yourself , or against  groups of people or a profession. (Take care, in some Asian countries, you may lose face with some audiences. )

* Practise, practise, practise until you get it right   

Keep telling you new story to friends and colleagues  until you get a good laugh every time.

            If there is a punch-line, pause then make sure you deliver it, loud and clearly. It should be a climax. Not an anti-climax!

* Build your own joke library

File these jokes so you can use them with relevant topical references at the next appropriate occasion.

            The essence of humour is that it should contain an element of surprise.

            A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest persons.

Geoffrey Moss

“A good story teller is a person who has a good memory and hopes other people haven’t.”

 SOURCE: For more on this topic see:  “Persuasive Ways first published in New Zealand by Moss Associates Ltd and in Chinese by the Shanghai People’s Publishing House and as “Secrets of Persuasion” by Cengage Learning Asia. (Available as an e-book from Also available as “Getting Your Ideas Across” from Kogan Page, U.K and a  Hungarian translation published by Bagolyvar Konyvkiado, Budapest.
 Persuasive Ways Cover

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